After my relaxing weekend, Monday and Tuesday were back to reality in the city. Now that I have money in my Australian account, house share hunting could finally become a reality.
After arriving back at the Claremont Guest House and getting some essential shopping in, I settled down to begin house share hunting inside the hostel. Unfortunately, the Claremont Guest House provide heavily capped internet, and I found myself begging the various reception staff for more access, and receiving lectures about how much I was allowed per day (only supposed to be 100MB).
I easily burned through over 5 times this amount of data, before they finally cut me off and I had to give up for the day. I managed to arrange only 1 visit of a house for Wednesday, but it was a start. Still the days begging for internet had left me very annoyed and frustrated. Now I had money in my account, I could finally sort the problem once and for all.
On Tuesday I woke up and set off out to the CBD and visited all the major mobile broadband providers, collecting prices and information on each. Australia is a vast country, and its internet suffers heavily as a result. Where £9.99 buys you unlimited internet in the UK, that buys you at most a day in Australia. Coverage is scattered too, and so the situation is pretty grim for a traveller.
I wayed up the options from the big players, Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone. Telstra have the best network in both coverage and speed, meaning as I travel further into the wilderness working will still be viable. However, their network is also the most expensive, costing $150 (around £100) for 10GB of mobile data. Extortionate. Vodaphone was by far the cheapest, charging $60 for 16GB. However, they are also heavily criticised for having a poor network, especially outside of Australias major cities. Optus were middle of the road in both speed and coverage, however they used to offer a packaged known as Data Days - which provided unlimited mobile internet. It was so over-subscribed they had to cancel it - which should tell you what the situation is like out here. I considered my options before biting the bullet and going for the Telstra access. It is vital I be able to work as much as possible whilst out here, even at the expense Telstra charged.
After getting the internet sorted, I headed out to Richmond and to Inspire 9 to get some work done. As I arrived I met Damien, a fellow drop in worker I have encountered a few times here and helped out with some JS/CSS programming issues. I mentioned in passing that I was looking for a house share and he mentioned he and his roommate were looking for a third in their appartment in South Yarra. The coincidence was remarkable - and so we arranged for me to have a viewing wednesday morning.
I spent the rest of the day working and house share hunting again, before heading back to South Yarra. Over the weekend, I had mentioned to Jill and Phil the state of Claremont's kitchen facilities and Philip had a the great idea of purchasing some microwave vegtables and microwave chicken fillet. I thought this a brilliant idea for my evening meal, and crossed the road to the local 7-11 to grab them. So thanks Phil! After my evening meal I crashed out.